Congress candidate Varsha Gaikwad withdrew her nomination for the Speaker's post after former ally NCP declined to support her, party sources said.

Gaikwad had earlier met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to seek support for her candidature. Even state Congress president Manikrao Thakre had spoken to his NCP counterpart Sunil Tatkare seeking support for Gaikwad.

Congress MLAs Vijay Waddetiwar and Abdul Sattar earlier today met NCP state president Tatkare to discuss the Speaker's election.

However, Tatkare told the Congress legislators that his party will not support their candidate.

On Sena's withdrawal of their nominee, senior party leader Ramdas Kadam said, "(Sena chief) Uddhavji has decided to support BJP candidate Haribhau Bagde for the Speaker's post. Following Uddhavji's decision, we withdrew our candidate Vijay Auti."

State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier appealed to the Congress and Sena to facilitate unopposed election of the Speaker in the 288-member House.

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